Best of the Letters From 2017
Appears That Not Much Has Changed:
February 2, 2017
First of all I would like to thank you for your many articles exposing the troubles within the WCG and its offshoots. I grew up in WCG, and even now at 58, I struggle with separation. As time has passed, and many splits have occurred, it has appeared to me that not much has changed. One set of men desiring to sit in the high seats that someone else currently sits in, and the sheep are divided in the spoils. So, in recent months, I have begun withdrawing.
This has been very painful for me, as I have loved ones in what is now called “Church of God, A Worldwide Association.” Just the name concerns me, and I can’t understand why we want to look in the past. I have attended only several times in the past year.
I was wondering if you would mind sending me David Robinson’s book Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web, as I understand you have it in your possession. [Read this book for free on our PDF downloads page] It would be of great value to me as I attempt to sort out all the inconsistencies of this religious organization. The particular group I have been in seems to have this continued fascination with HWA, and I cannot for the life of me, understand why.
Thanks again for your ESN page and I look forward to hearing back from you.–[name withheld]
John Macarthur and Lordship Salvation:
March 8, 2017
Hello, I happened across the Restored Church of God‘s “3 fold false gospel.” In doing a little research to check out their beliefs, I linked into your “Exit and Support” site.
I’m impressed at the sheer volume of information that you are offering in assisting those who “are trapped” in error!
I have a daughter that has recently become extremely religious, belligerent and condemning towards us her parents. Interestingly, she was quite careful in keeping secret, the name of the church she is attending, as well as whose teaching the church leaders were adhering to. After her moving back into our city, we learned that she very specifically sought out a church that adhered to John Macarthur’s “Lordship salvation” teachings. I have done quite a bit of online searching on Lordship Salvation and have learned that they seem to employ mind control tactics very similar to those that you are writing about.
Do you have any information or comments that might help me to better understand our daughter as well as your views on the scriptural validity or heresy of John Macarthur’s teachings. –[name withheld]
Reply: His church has been described as being very much like a cult with the leaders controlling everything and everyone. Read: John Macarthur’s Position on the Lordship of Christ. Also, see: John Macarthur’s Ecumenical Roots (an in-depth article which covers freemasonry). John Macarthur’s theology is Calvinist. A very good article is: My Journey into Calvinism (PDF).
HWA Was a Liar:
March 14, 2017
I recently read a February 1967 Plain Truth article where HWA said “the ‘Day of the Eternal’… is going to strike between 5 and 10 years from now!” (p. 47) It looks like he missed this prediction by forty years. He claimed he was writing [this] “on the authority of the living Christ.” What a liar. He tempted God for many years. I remember when he died , I was already sure of his fate because I knew about him. I was young, but I was smart. –R. S.
Confused About Mark of the Beast:
March 16, 2017
I am confused. What is the Mark of the Beast? How do we know when to expect it and to know not to take it? How do you not be in fear that you could make a mistake and take it? Every time I think about it or come across the subject it scares me. There is so much false teachings on it. After being in a cult, it is so hard to understand the real truth not man’s teachings. All the false teachings of 35+ years is hard to get out of your mind and to understand the truth because your mind tends to think of the false teachings. Thanks for your website. It has helped but still confused on Mark of the Beast. I did notice nothing said about it on Exit Support Network.™ I believe that’s one of the subjects that we need more teaching on. –[name withheld]
Reply: A new Q&A has been posted on this. Go to: What is the mark of the beast and how do we keep from being afraid?church
Often Felt I Was the Black Sheep of the Family:
March 20, 2017
Hello, I found your website and I wanted to say Thank You for creating it. I grew up in the WCG and often felt I was the black sheep of the family for so many reasons. I think even then I knew what we were being told and the ideology we had was not right. It’s so strange that after all these years how things from childhood in the “church” still effect your daily life. Thanks for your time. –A. , Child survivor of WCG
ESN Site Helpful and Informative:
March 27, 2017
I visit your site often and have found it helpful and informative. I was a WCG member for 25 years. I likely will never get entirely over it, but maybe some hard and valuable lessons were learned. –[name withheld]
We Are Finally Healing:
April 20, 2017
Thank you so much for the tremendous effort you’ve put into this website. As a member of WCG for 15 years, and lifelong for my wife, we were deeply indoctrinated. We walked away in 1997 and rarely spoke of it for years, but we were far from being healed of the spiritual wounds. After 5 or 6 years we attempted to attend a local Baptist Church, but it was so foreign to us that we couldn’t remain. Your site has helped us, most importantly, to realize that we’re not alone, that many others are as lost as we were.
After much prayer, we have finally found a small church that is non-denominational which preaches God’s Grace along with the great morality found in the New Testament. We meet on Sunday but only for convenience, not esteeming one day above another. We have zero ordinances, dress is casual, music is mixed contemporary and orthodox. Everyone attending is there of their own free will, as there is no membership and no requests for money. An offering plate is provided in the rear if one so desires to contribute. There is no “headquarters” as the church is entirely autonomous, and best of all, the building seems filled with a spirit of joy and freedom. We are finally healing. Thanks for your help in this process. –J.
David Pack Spying on Members and Prospective Members:
June 28, 2017
David Pack has ordered the ministers to befriend members and prospective members on Face Book. This is to spy on their personal lives. Members will have their personal lives inspected. Prospective members can be denied membership, if they are not good enough. –Anonymous
Stress Causes Dave Pack to Experience Heart Problems:
June 28, 2017
Not only has Dave Pack’s daughter, her husband, and children left the RCG (see July 5, 2016 letter), they have never allowed any contact with him since leaving. They have also not joined any other offshoot, which implies they realize it is all a big con. The stress caused him to experience heart problems, requiring a procedure at a hospital and medication. He claims to be “healed” now. –Impacted by RCG
June 29, 2017
Just got the news that Roderick Meredith finally kicked the bucket [on May 18]. Eighty-six years old? Amazing. Another evil Armstrong-clone finally departs. I imagine these guys live so long because they can afford to eat well, live well, and afford any and all types of medical care, while the members go without. Gerald Flurry and Dave Pack can’t be too far behind.
I’ve often wondered how the members can resolve the problem of these leaders promising to take them to the Place of Safety, but dying instead. How many times does the “baton” get passed? I wonder if this George Weston fellow will tear down everything that Meredith did and eventually inject his own version of “the Truth.” These guys have such tremendous egos that they can’t resist erasing the accomplishments of the previous leader (except for name dropping) and promoting themselves as the next greatest Torch Bearer of Truth.
Do these leaders go to their grave actually believing their names will be immortalized through history? I just can’t believe that they believe their own bull****. We know they do this to live a comfortable life while sucking the life out of their followers. But once they arrive at death’s door, they must know it’s “game over” for them. How do they reconcile this? As their lives of extravagance and prestige slip from their grasp, it has got to weigh heavily on their minds. (I would say “conscience,” but we already know they don’t have one.) It must be sheer torment for them to know they are going to lose it all. No more accumulation of wealth, fine suits, fancy homes, luxury cars, private servants, people groveling at their feet, etc. I’d would think “torment” would’ve already begun once Meredith realized he was on his way out. I’m also wondering if there will be multiple splinters of this group as well. –[name withheld]
Comment: Rod Meredith died May 18, 2017. He had six children. Update: David Meredith, son of Rod Meredith died of a heart attack at age 43 on 10-27-22.
July 4, 2017
I attended RCG services for several months before realizing that David Pack is a total fraud.
The last few sermons I was able to read online, before I was removed from the member portion of RCG’s website, have him practically demanding that his congregants give all their money to “the Work” as the end is very near.
In the four months I attended I noticed how obsessed he was with “the splinters” all the time stating that any day now the people in the splinters would be flicking to him now that God had given him the knowledge of Daniel’s unsealed book. (Which is the basis for the 75 plus sermon series.)
Then last month he did a complete 180º and stated that the splinters would not be coming to him and that he would not be expanding his campus–but he still needs all of our money to continue “The Work.”” He went as far as to say that he truly fears for those who are sitting on assets but just can’t quite “pull the trigger and reach into their wallet.” He reminded the women (in which I assume there are more of in his “church”) that they are entitled to half of the marital assets. Stated several times in a loud voice that he “needs funding now!”
He also made the statement, in a sort of roundabout way, that some were sort of questioning him or being disrespectful to his authority which is something that didn’t used to happen back in the older days where respect was of more importance than it is now. I took that as sort of a warning he was indirectly giving to his congregants–sort of letting them know in advance that he did not like it. He stated that one of his ministers just quit.
I was truly surprised to see the beautiful Mercedes Don Conard (minister who headed the Iowa/Nebraska/Missouri area) drove. I knew that he lived in Topeka and so just a general Internet search of name, property, etc., I discovered the very expensive house he resides in, on a lake with long dock and boat, that happens to be in his wife’s name only. (She does not attend nor believe in what her husband believes in.) Now there’s a very convenient reason Don Conard has for not being able to give all he has to “the Work.”
I feel like such a fool, but I wasn’t one for very long. I appreciate your work on your website. –Escaped RCG
July 5, 2017
This are notes from Dave Pack’s last few sermons (end of May 2017 to probably first week in June):
He states that the “fire” (ultimate testing of God’s people) has already started. He talked about not hiring any more ministers and said that we do not need to build any more buildings because the end is just about here. Then he said that the coming “fire” before the Tribulation period (which is right around the corner) means to totally commit to the end-time Work by pulling their wallets out of their pockets to fund the Work. References Luke 12: 32 and 33: “Sell that you have and give alms.”
Talks about how he knows there are millions of dollars that “God’s people” are sitting on right now and they’re trying to get themselves to release it but it’s hard. Family, spouse, kids–they are catching ‘heat’ from family, but of course, this heat is nothing compared to what is coming on the world. But “God is literally going to cook it out of you with the coming fire.” The early birds into the coming kingdom must do this. He said he truly fears for those who do not sell all that they have. He says they can’t play games. God will not be able to let people “escape” the coming Tribulation unless they are willing to do everything. They will or won’t obey that command. Says that is the fuel for the coming fire (or testing of God’s people). Says you can’t be saved unless you do this.
In the next sermon Pack talks about faith. He finally gets to the point of his sermon during the second hour. Sell all you have, release your funds to prove to God that you trust Him completely. Pray for those who have significant funds (implying they won’t let go of their money). He reads verses referencing denying God, or denying Christ, by not doing good works. He talks about knowing that we are close [to the end], as his own trials are telling him that. Mentions the verse about selling all you have, references fundraising, saying he never talks about that. Says he truly fears for all those who don’t sell all they have and sit on their money. He says he really feels afraid for those people as they won’t be saved. Think of the guilt you will have not giving all your money to God. Don’t hide money. Don’t deny God in this way. –[name removed]
Comment: This sermon is: Clarion Call–The Time is Now!
July 10, 2017
Your site helped me exit United Church of God 12 years ago after 33 years of service. –Anonymous
September 8, 2017
Dear brothers or sisters in Christ, I listened to Pastor Norbert Link (student of Herbert W. Armstrong) since March 2016. At the beginning I was very interested in their alternative and different sermons and interpretation of the Bible. I ordered a lot of their booklets as well. But after some time, I had more and more negative feelings and a growing fear of losing salvation if I didn’t learn to keep the Sabbath, holy days and so on. I must say from time to time I go back to their YouTube-channel especially to hear the latest developments of the world in their short news but I mostly feel worse when I do so. I am very glad to have found your site. Now I am getting more and more rid of the fear of losing my eternal salvation from reading the answers on your page. I think I will need some time until I am 100% free of their brainwashing [mind control] and I will have to dispose of their booklets to make sure I don’t get affected again.
Kind regards from Düsseldorf, Germany –D. K.
Comment: Church of the Eternal God, headquartered in San Diego, CA, is a split from Church of God, Christian Fellowship (the latter being formed by former Global Church of God members). CEG is affiliated with Church of God, a Christian Fellowship, Summerland, B.C. and Global Church of God (UK), Derby, United Kingdom. They follow the doctrines and teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and believe in a hierarchal form of church government.
Read: Can We Ever Lose Our Salvation? (Q&A)
Update: Read 2nd letter from above person, “Can’t Find Inner Rest After Listening to These Groups” (September 10, 2022) and a 3rd letter from him following that one.
September 27, 2017
I am writing this so that maybe it might help another person and tell how this is the way I have been affected by the Restored Church of God and Pack’s doctrine of common. My husband joined last year. It has been the most painful year in the 24 years we have been married. We were married in WWCG in 1993. I think I remember the words, “What God has joined, let no man put asunder” and two become one in the eyes of God. I don’t think I am the only one who has had these words spoken in a wedding. My husband has totally bought into the “common” doctrine if you can call it that and has decided he wants to split everything down the middle, in half. We have argued and fought every week, because if this happens, there will be no reserves left for emergencies or contingencies. I have two parents that I have to see to as well who are in their 80’s and I need reserves for them as well as they have spent most of their lives following HWA and didn’t think there would be any future. So they are at the bottom of the economic scale now.
On Monday of this week I went to see a lawyer and inquired about what splitting things down the middle would mean for me. I was told that in the eyes of the law, one can’t do that and have it binding. In the eyes of the law, a marriage is a single unit and can’t be split unless either there is a legal separation or divorce. Marriage includes all assets and debts. We live in a community property state. I went home and told my husband what I was told. I gave him the choice, either we separate legally or divorce. He chose separation. Yesterday was our 24th anniversary.
How can a “man of God” think it’s OK to split a union that God has sanctioned and put together and still think he has the fruits of the Spirit? I liken it to trying to remove half an orange without disturbing the peel, it can’t be done. I certainly would not want to be in his shoes or in the shoes of those that enforce these policies. What will their answer be when they have to account for the lives they have ruined? Does my husband have a choice in this? They tell the members, No, they either pay common or they have no salvation. Where is that found in the Bible, I can’t find it.
Thanks for listening. –[name removed]
Comment: It is always best to have separate checking and savings accounts in these situations, if possible.
Thank You For Helping Those Trapped in Bondage:
November 5, 2017
Just writing to say thank you for being online to help those trapped in such bondage to what others want them believe. I do not have any degree of any type except a SBG (Saved By Grace) since 1978. I have been involved with a prison ministry for 7 years.
Thank you again for all you do. –Your Friend in JESUS, M. C.
Information You Provided Was Instrumental:
December 14, 2017
While researching Living Church of God, your site popped-up, much to my surprise and gratefulness, for I was researching the church for my [relative], and found a church, The Restored Church of God, also listed, that I was contemplating getting involved with. I was surprised at all the information provided by your site. …
Thank you so much for your quick and timely response to my request. It gives me great pleasure to associate myself with quick, timely, and responsible individuals as yourselves. Information you provided was instrumental on my continuing to seek your site for further information. Once again, thank you, and have a blessed day. –[name withheld]
Slick Talkers Out for Gain:
December 16, 2017
Wow, just found your website. For the last couple of days I’ve been reading material from Christian Biblical Church of God (Fred Coulter’s material) and he was making sense and followed along the line of my belief in what scriptures teach. Up until he said he alone made a translation of the Scripture a faithful version. …
I am going to spend all day today reading your material posted on your site. Thanks for not just removing yourself from false churches and their teaching and then just sitting on your hands and doing nothing about it. We need more people like you to stand up and shout how we can and are being snookered, bamboozled, taken for a ride by these slick talkers out for gain. –K. N.
I am in Shock:
December 22, 2017
Hello Exit and Support Network™, I am writing to you about the deceitful cult that I used to support in the 70’s. I and my late mother who passed away many years ago were also hooked on their teachings. I just found out about this a couple of days ago and I am in shock to think this and all the other so-called “Churches of God” were preaching a false gospel.
I have read a few of the stories that former members have experienced and am saddened of what they have gone through. I am no longer a supporter of these cults. I haven’t sent money to them in a few years but received their literature. Now I threw all of their books out and anything else that pertains to them. How could I have been so wrong in believing them I’ll never know.
I read the Bible on a daily bases and my wife and I pray all the time for guidance and His love. I listen to a radio station called K-love which is a nationwide Christian radio station. It brings us peace and love to know God Loves us no matter what we go through in our daily life.
I am interested in knowing more about the progress that goes on with this support network. There are so many stories in here I have read; it brings me to tears knowing that Herbert W Armstrong and others have deceived the whole world, or nearly it.
I am from south Louisiana and still live here. I thank you for reading my email and thank you for posting this website to inform other past members of these cults. –Sincerely, –T.